In Taekwondo as well as most style of Martial Arts you will find white belts, black belts, various colours of colour belts, and various degrees of black belt as well as various degrees of certain ranks of colour. But what do they all mean?
Various styles of different orders of colure which you earn along your way to black belt and beyond. Some styles go white belt, yellow belt, and so forth. Other styles go white belt, red belt, yellow belt, and so forth. Others use red belts as higher than black belts. Some use stripes on their belts. Some use different colure such as purple and brown where others don’t.
Some systems will go into detail about how each belt represents certain things in nature or human nature. Some will be described as the learning process in which you go through as person. Some styles use ranks to show nothing other than progression of skill and knowledge. Some systems the ranks are meaningless.
It would be hard press to find two styles that can come together and completely agree with what the belts mean and what it takes to earn each belt. This is because there is so many different unique view points on the subject. And that is okay. That is actually a good thing. The more view points the more one can learn.
Ultimately the different ranks means that you have learned new skills per belt level and meet the minimum requirements to progress to the next level. They are mini goals towards black belt and beyond. You can view them as a metaphor for life. Always learning something new. Always challenging yourself to be better. Always improving. Always setting goals and achieving them. Stepping stones in life.
And black belt is not the ultimate goal. Going beyond black belt is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is striving to be better than you were yesterday. Taekwondo is one path to self excellence through hard work and dedication.
Master Jonathan Field